EPA Cites FCA Diesel Software
Fiat Chrysler allegedly installed engine management software in roughly 104,000 diesel powered Jeeps and trucks that violated the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency announced this morning.
It cited 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3.0 liter diesel engines that it said had software that resulted in “increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the vehicles.”
Fiat Chrysler said it “believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirement” and plans to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve the matter.
“Once again, a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is a result of that collaboration.”
The announcement came shortly after Volkswagen reached a $4.3 billion dollar agreement with the government regarding its diesels that still must be approved by a federal judge.
“Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
EPA said as part of the certification process, automakers are required to disclose and explain any software, known as auxiliary emission control devices that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution. FCA did not disclose the existence of certain auxiliary emission control devices to EPA in its applications for certificates of conformity for the named vehicles.
“By failing to disclose this software and then selling vehicles that contained it, FCA violated important provisions of the Clean Air Act,” EPA said.
Fiat Chrysler said it spent months providing “voluminous information” to the EPA and looks forward to proving that its emissions control strategies are properly justified and thus “are not defeat devices under applicable regulations…”
Yet during testing, the EPA said the vehicles in question produced increased NOx emissions under conditions that would be encountered in normal operation and use. EPA said it has found at least eight undisclosed pieces of software that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution.
It add that FCA may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief.